5-minute briefing: Engineering Brand Monitor

Aug 8, 2019

Luke Armitage

The Engineering Brand Monitor is part of the work of the Research department at EngineeringUK. We spoke to new Research department team member Luke Armitage, Senior Research Analyst, to find out more about him and the EBM.


You’re a new member of the team, tell us about your background.

I’m from Newcastle originally and studied maths at Imperial College London, where I got my Masters. I volunteered overseas, then started working at the Department of Education in November 2016 doing Further Education analysis and gained a lot of knowledge of general data analysis, FE, government, how the civil service works, and using evidence to inform policy.

How do you think your background will give additional insight to your work at EngineeringUK?

Understanding a bit about how government works obviously, which we need to be aware of because a lot of what we do is highlighting the engineering cause and STEM within government. I built up a range of contacts in both DFE and the education sector more widely, which will allow us to target the right people. My knowledge of Education data specifically has already given me a new approach to take forward with the way we forecast our demand for skills, which we will use in the new EngineeringUK report.

So what are you looking forward to or have you enjoyed in your first few months engineering UK?

I’ve enjoyed learning about the various different activities EngineeringUK runs, and the programmes and seeing how they impact young people who want to get into STEM. I went to go and see a Big Bang at school and that was really enjoyable. I've enjoyed the friendliness of all the team all the staff and getting to know everyone in the office. My team is great as well. I've enjoyed working with them, being welcomed in. I'm looking forward to the next steps with my project having even more autonomy over my work, getting even more familiar with everything that goes on. I’m quite looking forward to being able to tie in different elements of the charity with my own work.

Could you outline what it is you're doing at the moment and what the Engineering Brand Monitor is.

The EBM and is a survey of pupils, teachers and the public to gauge knowledge and perceptions of engineering and STEM, as well as determining how likely young people are to go into engineering careers. It also asks pupils and their teachers and parents about careers advice. It's essentially meant to be the most trusted voice that we have on perceptions of engineering; it's used to monitor EngineeringUK's activities over time and provide benchmarking data against which we can measure the impact of our activities. I've just finished writing a report based on the survey data, so it's quite long and meaty report, and that outlines some of the key points on perception, the knowledge and the desirability of engineering and STEM. I'm working with the comms team now to get that into a publishable format.

And I’m also currently thinking about how to improve the survey because it's been the in same format for about six years. So having written the report looking at what we do to make it even better and collect better data in the future.

Research has always been an important part of engineering UK so you can what can you tell us about the way the EBM fits into that work?

The EBM is a big scale piece of research that we do and it's supposed to be representative of all pupils, teachers and parents. So it fits into EngineeringUK's work because we need to know what the general perceptions of engineering are - and because of the specific programmes that we run what we need to do is be able to compare the views of people who go to those programmes with the views of the general public to actually determine whether they've had any effect.

And as well as using that comparison data, we want to be able to see if the views are changing over time, so that will hopefully give EngineeringUK and other organisations an insight into what effect they're having on people’s views of engineering.

Is there anything else you're looking forward to working on?

I'll also be working on the big EngineeringUK report focusing on further education and apprenticeships specifically. So I'm looking forward having my own chapter in there, and as I say I've already thought of some new ways to do some of the modelling that we do based on different bits of Education data, that's quite exciting.

I will be working closely with other members of the team who are coming up with this impact framework to decide how to evaluate our programs. And to do that we need to have the right questions on the EBM. So it's quite closely tied together as a piece of work.

What's the best thing about working in the research Department?

The members of the team; everyone's very friendly. I think we function well together and everyone helps each other out. It means that it's quite a collaborative way of working. And there's expertise in the team which allows me to learn and it's useful to see how the research actually impacts all the other areas of the organization, which is very nice.

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